For 2006, Mitsubishi's Lancer gets a front fascia face lift, with the ES model getting a chrome grille, while the OZ Rally and Ralliart models now are equipped with a black mesh grille. An updated front bumper complements both grilles. The Lancer now features advanced air bags with passenger occupant sensors on all models. A security package featuring anti-lock brakes and seat-mounted, side-impact air bags is also available for the first time on ES and OZ Rally models. Daytime running lamps are also now standard. On the performance side, the Lancer Evolution IX debuts, loaded with a host of new aerodynamic and power upgrades.
Entering the mainstream in 2002 to replace the Mirage sedan, the Mitsubishi Lancer sedan is available in six trim levels: base ES, sporty-looking OZ Rally, up-level Ralliart, high-performance and customizable Evolution RS, the well-equipped Evolution IX, and track-ready Evolution MR. Lancer ES and OZ Rally are powered by a 2.0L inline-four cylinder engine making 120 hp, while the Ralliart model gets a 162-hp version. Both engines may be mated to a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels. All Evolution models come with a turbocharged and intercooled 2.0L inline-four making 286 hp and 289 lb.-ft. of torque. RS and Evo IX models get a 5-speed manual while the MR Edition receives a 6-speed manual. All Evolutions come with all-wheel drive.
Safety features include dual front air bags, dual side air bags (standard on Ralliart and Evolution models and optional on ES and OZ Rally), height-adjustable front seat belts with pre-tensioners and force limiters, side-door impact beams, and ABS-assisted brakes (standard on Ralliart and Evolution models and available on ES and OZ Rally). Evolution models add Sport ABS assist with steering-angle and g-force sensors. Standard ES equipment includes halogen headlamps with an auto-off, rear roof-mounted antenna, rear window defogger, 15-inch steel wheels with covers, manual air conditioning with micron air filter, wood grain-accent interior panels, power windows and door locks, an eight-way adjustable driver seat, and a sound system with four speakers. OZ Rally adds variable intermittent wipers, color-keyed door handles, clear jeweled tail lamps, a rear spoiler, 15-inch OZ Rally alloy wheels, a Sport Touch shift knob and brake handle, silver mesh interior accent panels, floor mats, keyless entry, and a 140-watt stereo with six speakers. Ralliart models add distinctive badging, 16-inch alloy wheels, a sport suspension, front strut tower brace, and a Lancer Evolution shifter assembly.
Evo RS models get reflector-type high-beam headlamps, an aluminum hood with an exhaust vent, blister-type fenders and roof panel, twilight side marker lamps, a dual-mode muffler with a variable back-pressure valve, a front underbody aero dam, 17-inch Enkei cast alloy wheels, a Momo leather-wrapped steering wheel, Recaro front bucket seats, Brembo brakes, and a tubular strut tower brace. Evolution IX adds color-keyed folding power side mirrors and a rear spoiler with a carbon fiber airfoil, dark titanium and carbon fiber trim accents, and aluminum pedals. Opting for the MR nets Bilstein shocks, HID headlamps with leveling control, fog lamps, an aluminum gear shift knob, and an aluminum/carbon fiber brake handle.
The Mitsubishi Lancer competes in the Compact Sporty segment, where buyers seek thrills in a wide variety of packages, from two-seat roadsters to all-wheel-drive, rally-inspired, lightweight compact sedans. A total of six models comprise the Compact Sporty segment for the 2006 model year, with four new models (Saturn Sky, Subaru Outback Sport, and Volkswagen EOS and GTI) joining the group for 2007.
According to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report, SM the Scion tC was the sales leader in this segment for calendar year 2005 with 74,415 sales, followed by the Subaru Impreza (33,637 units in 2005), and Mitsubishi Lancer (27,849). Other competitors in this segment include the Hyundai Tiburon, Mazda MX-5 Miata, and Pontiac Solstice.
|ES||5 speed manual||$14,599||120-hp / 2.0L 4-cyl||28/35|
|SE||5 speed manual||$16,099||120-hp / 2.0L 4-cyl||28/35|
|OZ Rally||5 speed manual||$16,899||120-hp / 2.0L 4-cyl||28/35|
|Ralliart||5 speed manual||$18,999||162-hp / 2.4L 4-cyl||23/29|